McGREGOR SPEEDWAY

   A Hard - To - Find Gem of   
       New York Racing History



Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Joe Staiger uses the Town of Wilton road grader to do the finishing touches on the Mt. McGregor Speedway surface.

     According to a recent conversation with Joe Staiger and from comments made in a Jean Wouterz article about the track some while back, Mt. McGregor Speedway was conceived of at least partly as a protest. Staiger tells of Ed Harran, bringing his #43 car to the already - existing Hudson River Speedway in neighboring Schuylerville. Harran was winning handily every race, and the track [owned by the Garnsey family] decided heh ad to be using an illegal motor.
      As it turned out, Harran simply had the Model B engine, which was stock but an improvement over the prevalent Model A motors. His car was torn down, only to be found legal. Joe Staiger, who was with Harran that day, looked over a piece of land on his family farm. With a borrow3ed bulldozer, a track was carved out, and an ownership group was hammered out.
      Mt. McGregor Speedway lived out a rather challenging two year life, racing a mixture of jalopies, roadsters, and stock cars while being beset by the New York State Police, who used Sunday Blue Laws to stop its race shows. The region was known mostly for the mountain, the Mt. McGregor Correctional Institute, and the President U.S. Grant vacation cottage; but it did host some hot racing for a brief while.


Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Joe Staiger mans the borrowed bulldozer
and carves out a turn that was too sharp.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Supposedly, the opening show
at the track. Can't recognize any cars.
However, being the same time as Pico
Raceway opened, I can't help but
think the Jack Barney and Thurlow
Woodcock cars are in there.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Joe Staiger in action on the Hudson
River track in Schuylerville.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Supposedly, the opening show
at the track. Can't recognize
any cars in this one either.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Supposedly, the opening show
at the track. Seems to be race action in
turns 3 and 4.

Les King Photo
Courtesy of Gail Moses Remington

Al Moses plies the McGregor oval in
a roadster - type racer.

Les King Photo
Courtesy of Gail Moses Remington

Al Moses dumps his
a roadster - type racer.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Joe Staiger, working on his race car.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Thurlow Woodcock, with his
Cadillac roadster. He supposedly
won the first heat race ever at Pico
Raceway with this car.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
From left - Kenny Staiger, Jack
Barney, and Thurlow Woodcock.

Courtesy of Jerry King
Jack Barney's 6 at Pico, around a year
after McGregor opene
d.

McDowell Photo
Courtesy of CJ Richards

Saratoga's Spence Parkhurst
became a legend of sorts in
1950's NY racing. He also was
in on the ground floor at
McGregor.


Les King Photo Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Frank Staiger [left] and Chet Hames pause in front of Harold Kyer's relatively - sophisticated stock car before the start of the next race.
Staiger would be struck by a car in that race and Hames would become the full - time starter at McGregor, perhaps kickstarting his
legendary career.


Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Joe Staiger's family car sits on the completed track. He had made the track on the family farm so that his mother
might make a little money on the concession stand. I wonder if she ever did.

A COLLECTION OF LIKELY McGREGOR COMPETITORS

 
Courtesy of Ron Hoffer
Hank Schmidt,
Gansevoort, NY

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Thurlow Woodcock,
Saratoga [with his
Cadillac roadster].

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
Kenny Staiger [at left]

Courtesy of Jerry King
Jack Barney's 6 at Pico, around a year after McGregor opened. Below - Jack Barney.

Courtesy of Joe Staiger

McDowell Photo
Courtesy of CJ Richards

Saratoga's Spence Parkhurst
 was in on the ground floor at
McGregor.

Les King Photo
Courtesy of Gail Moses Remington

Al Moses,
 Wilton, NY

Courtesy of Joe Staiger
J
oe Staiger, who soon had no time to race after moving to New Jersey.

Courtesy of Andy Fusco
John "Smokey" Stover" was
also a founding racer.
 
Courtesy of Ron Hoffer
Widely - traveled Leo Nadeau
was likely an early entrant.

 
Ladabouche Collection
Harold Kyer


Historic Aerials.Com Photo
Traces of McGregor Speedway are still evident in this 1964 aerial view.

 

For an article on the track I did in 2014, click the link below:

http://www.catamountstadium.com/weeklyblog.oct202014_McGregorSpdwy.html

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